American Elephants


Liberals’ Bumper-Sticker Mentality by American Elephant
September 16, 2007, 4:24 am
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Politics, The Constitution | Tags: , , ,

Benjamin Franklin

I had to laugh when I heard John Edwards call the War on Terror a bumper-sticker — I guess one doesn’t see many bumpers from the backseat of a town-car.

Not once since the war began have I seen those words on any bumper, in fact, other than the apparently controversial sentiment, “Support the Troops,” I don’t see many conservative bumper-stickers at all.

But I have seen, “No Blood For Oil”, “War is NOT a Family Value”, “Bush Lied, People Died”, “War Never Solved Anything”, “Peace Works”, “Practice pre-emptive LOVE”, “War is NOT Pro-Life”, “Dissent is the Highest Form of Patriotism”, and my favorite, “Pollution is a moral issue” (right above the exhaust pipe of an old black-smoke-belching VW van). Often they’re all on the same car, invariably adjacent to a prominently displayed and fading, “Kerry/Edwards 04,” and a picture of a marijuana leaf.

And that really is just scratching the surface. I know you’ve seen them too. There are thousands of such inanities plastered on thousands of “progressive” Prius posteriors.

No, the fact is that there are very few conservative bumper stickers for the same reason conservative protests are virtually unheard of — they’re silly. They accomplish nothing other than to broadcast the simplemindedness and more often than not, ignorance, of the owner.

War never solved anything? I concede it has a certain ring to it. It’s short, sweet, straight to the point. The problem is that it’s also factually incorrect. Of course war has solved many of the worlds greatest ills — slavery, genocide, Nazism, Fascism, Communism and tyranny of all sorts. It has also now solved the problem of Saddam Hussein. No longer do we need worry about that particular rogue tyrant aiding terrorists bent on our destruction. And that, in itself, makes the world a great deal safer.

And yet this bumper-sticker mentality pervades the left. It betrays the emotionalism that is the foundation of their ideology. That their slogans are so demonstrably wrong is unimportant — that they sound good is all that matters.

An excellent example of this has been the widespread use by liberals of a misquotation of Benjamin Franklin they use to protest the Terrorist Surveillance Program. They plaster it everywhere — from websites to yes, bumper-stickers and protest signs — no doubt you’ve seen or heard it somewhere:

Liberal protestors display their ignorance

Of course Benjamin Franklin would never say such an idiotic thing. We trade some liberty for security every day. If you don’t believe me try exercising your “right” to keep driving next time you see a set of police lights flashing in your rear-view mirror, or try opening a bank account without giving any personal information.

The original quote is actually,

“Those who would give up ESSENTIAL LIBERTY to purchase a little TEMPORARY SAFETY, deserve neither LIBERTY nor SAFETY”

Now, of course, that’s an entirely different ball of wax.

Anyone who would argue that international phone calls with suspected terrorists compromise an “essential liberty” simply isn’t dealing in reality. You can’t cross the the border without the distinct possibility of a warrantless search of your vehicle, your possessions, and your person — coming and going — how is an international telephone call to suspected enemies more sacrosanct than an innocent day-trip to British Columbia?

The constitution doesn’t prohibit search or seizure, it prohibits government from performing unreasonable search and seizure. And there’s nothing unreasonable about listening in to phone calls placed from telephone numbers found in Khalid Sheik Mohammad’s laptop. Yet the fact that he had a phone number on his hard drive isn’t sufficient evidence to provide the “probable cause” necessary to secure the warrant liberals demand we get. No doubt many of those phone numbers belong to people plotting against the United States, but if we were to follow liberal’s bumper-sticker understanding of the Constitution, we wouldn’t be able to listen to terrorists making calls to cell members inside the United States because simply being buddies with one of the most heinous terrorists in the world doesn’t clear the threshold of probable cause.

The irony is that the essential liberty Franklin was referencing was the right to defend oneself and the temporary safety was a reference to appeasing violent marauders (or dare I say, terrorists) in the hope they wouldn’t attack. He was defending a liberty liberals are against and denouncing the appeasement they favor.

So here we have liberals either knowingly bastardizing or ignorantly misquoting Franklin to make an argument at odds with what he was saying in the first place. Whether they are being intentionally dishonest or naively uninformed is of absolutely no interest to them, either are acceptable, all that matters is that it sounds good.

Or as liberals in the news media have become fond of saying, “the facts are wrong, but the narrative is right.”

Come to think of it, that wouldn’t make a bad bumper sticker:

LIBERALISM: The Facts are Wrong, But the Narrative is Right!

But that would be silly.

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18 Comments so far
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Right. Invading an oil rich Arab country which had not attacked us and was no danger to us was a real great idea. It was worth getting all those US soldiers killed and maimed for life and the trillion dollars down the drain to get the USA scorned all over the world.

Shame on those bumper sticker Liberals.

Comment by gasdocpol

Actually Saddam Hussein was attacking us daily, trying to shoot down overflights of the no-fly zone that was a condition of the cease-fire agreement he signed to remain in power. Nevermind the fact that he also is responsible for the attempted assassination of a US President, and nevermind that one of the perpetrators of the 1993 Trade Center bombing had both an Iraqi passport and fled to Iraq after the bombing, I recognize that you mean he had not attacked the continental US, so I digress.

The idea that Saddam was not a danger is simply ignorant and contradicted by the facts. The Dulfer Report concluded that he was more dangerous in many ways than we knew because even though we didnt find any stockpiles of WMD, he had the knowledge and desire and the ability to start up his programs extremely quickly. He organized it that way because he wanted to be able to start up his programs at the drop of a hat.

That you think a man who has invaded his neighbors 5 times, used WMD on thousands of people, openly supported terrorism and subsidized suicide bombers, violated all the conditions of the cease fire agreement that he signed in order to remain in power after the war of aggression he started, violated all 16 resolutions of the international community (and all the dozens of demands in each), whose government has been proven to have been meeting with al Qaeda, even though no “operation” could be proven to be currently under way, the fact that his government was meeting with al qaeda should be enough…and not least of all refused to fully cooperate and allow unfettered access to suspect sites in his country, even with the US military parked on his borders… that you think all of this constitutes a man that was not a danger simply illustrates that you are irrational and seeking the answer you want to see rather than objectively looking at the facts as they exist.

And the people in the military have volunteered to fight our enemies precisely so our civilian men women and children wont have to fight them on our airplanes and in our skyscrapers.

Of course none of them want to die, but they are willing to to take that risk in order to prevent 10,000 or 100,000 Americans from being killed by an outbreak of smallpox, a dirty bomb or a nuclear weapon.

Terrorists would use these weapons in an instant if they could get their hands on them.

Saddam Hussein was an outlaw who had broken every law he possibly could, openly supported and financed terrorism, had shown his willingness to USE WMD, openly swore to the destruction of America and refused to cooperate when ordered to prove he didnt have WMD.

Anyone who would not have removed him under those circumstances has no business anywhere near the reigns of power. It was the only responsible thing to do.

And anyone who isnt willing to bear scorn has absolutely no business near the reigns of power either. Many times doing the right or necessary thing requires a leader to go against public opinion–even international public opinion. (have you ever read the European press? its even less ideologically balanced than the American press)

Ronald Reagan was incredibly unpopular both here and abroad, especially in Europe–they HATED him, they took to the streets in massive protests, and now he is widely recognized by even liberal historians as one of the greatest presidents we’ve ever had for bringing an end to the decades long cold war. Harry Truman was even more unpopular than Bush at the end of his term, and for almost precisely the same reasons–and hes also thought of as one of our greatest presidents ever. And while there were no polls at the time, Abraham Lincoln was extremely unpopular, and he is widely regarded as either the greatest or the second greatest president of all time.

NONE of which fits on a bumper sticker, but all of which is necessary to understand the world. And yes, shame on those bumper sticker liberals indeed. They do America great harm as they have done for decades by basing their policies on their emotion rather than on facts and reason.

Comment by American Elephant

So you have found some plausible pretexts to invade Iraq to get their oil and set up permanent military bases in Iraq and bolster Israel. So now we have a mees. Congratulations!

Saddam was not cappable of successfully occupying Kuwait wsithout the world,including Arabs, rising up as one to throw him out. Now with his army weakened he was going to threaten the country which spent more on the military than THE NEXT 12 COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD?

GET A LIFE!!!

Comment by gasdocpol

Gosh, you really boiled this one down.First off, I’d like to point out that the “Support Our Troops” bumper sticker might be one of the best PR slogans ever produced by a right wing think tank. Though I’m sure you’ll claim some anonymous patriot thought of that and for some selfless reason never thought to copyright it. Interesting, but irrelevant.
After all the statement is a contradiction. It means nothing. Its unattackable and that is its strength. I support the troops, but not the unending imperial war they’re fighting.
Second, you’re whole story here is at best hypocritical and at worst a rambling of lies. Whatever gives you a clean conscience to fall asleep.
The US has used chemical weapons, land mines, cluster bombs, and other banned weapons over and over again. The world court, the UN, and many global leaders have openly condemned the way the US fights wars. Not to mention we do stand alone as being the only country to have actually used a nuclear weapon. Actually, both weapons were dropped in populated areas to maximize civilian casualties. It’s in the books, read em before you burn them.
The US has funded or given aid to rebellions and violent insurrections across the globe. From the violent annexation of Hawaii to the Osama Bin Laden partnership in Afghanistan. We have interfered with other countries anti terrorism efforts (Cuba and the Miami 5), and when necessary invented our own.
Third, violence spirals up – not down. You cannot attack someone and not expect them to hit back. After invading his country, it’s hard to imagine that Saddam might have wanted to kill President Bush. Which is maybe part of the personal pride Lil Bush feels while occupying Iraq, that or the oil and permanent military bases.
So keeping this theory. I expect radicals of all color and shape to attempt something which, in turn, will allow the US to unleash hell on earth in order to make us feel safe from terrorists. I don’t fear terrorists.
I fear a government that is so hell bent on keeping us safe from terrorists that it forgets that we are free men and begins to treat us as serfs or worse. Yes, I am free to make this statement, but by making it does that make me a radical? And If so, my only crime is wanting Americans to stay as free as we were, not as free as we are.
I’m not looking for the right to run down the highway naked covered in green jello with a porno in one hand and a beer in the other. I’m looking for the right to express myself without my views being regarded by my beloved country as a crime. Im hoping that the country doesn’t devolve into a corporate police state so bent on keeping us safe from terrorists that we instead have to fear a secret police.

Comment by hattersworkshop

Thank you both very much for proving my point so thoroughly! You are showing precisely the bumper-sticker mentality and bumper-sticker understanding of history that I said liberals have.

Your facts are completely wrong, but you dont care the slightest because what youve said sounds good to you. The truth matters not a whit.

1. The point is that Saddam DID invade Kuwaiit, even with the threat of the largest military in the world intervening, as we have a habit of doing. And he tried to kill our president, which to everyone but derranged liberals is considered an act of war, and he shot at our military daily. All of which contradicts your rather idiotic idea that he wasnt willing to take us on.

2. We were never concerned about his military, we were concerned that he could infect one of his citizens with smallpox and send them to manhattan. Or fill a bunch of envelopes with anthrax and send them throughout the United States, or any other number of virtually undetectable and untraceable mass attacks — all of which could be done without us ever being able to prove where the attack came from. They never did figure out who was responsible for the anthrax attacks. Get an education.

3. The “Support Our Troops” bumper stickers were an extention of a tradition that goes back hundreds of year, the yellow ribbon worn or displayed to show the anticipation of a loved one returning from war. The symbol became widely used in the 1970s when the song, “tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree” was extraodinarily popular and the ribbon became a symbol of support for the troops in the face of liberals such as yourself who were spitting on them, protesting them and calling them baby killers. And such as your despicable losing presidential candidate who lied about them in front of congeess for his political benefit, and who has been proven to have been lying. The reason people display them now is to make sure our troops never get spat on and treated disgracefully by your ignorant ilk again.

If liberals didnt think they would pay a poltical price for it, theyd be spitting on soldiers and protesting them and calling them baby killers all over again, In fact, liberals still are spitting on soldiers and protesting them as these stories just to name a few show. The support our troops campaign is designed to make sure you reprehensible scum dont get more carried away with it.

3. I dont lie, you do, as Ive just shown and will continue to, and I’m certainly more informed than both of you put together so I can hardly be hypocritical, although thats another big word youre not using correctly. Look it up.

4. We have never used banned weapons. Sorry, thats a lie. We have used weapons that were later banned, but we’ve never used any weapons in an illegal manner. The fact is that part of the reason so many American soldiers have died in Iraq is because the US goes above and beyone the laws of war often placing our own troops in extra danger in order to avoid as many civilian casualties as possible. And yes we used nuclear weapons against Japan, and if you had any historical understanding of Japanses culture at the time (surrender and defeat were not acceptable options–try looking up the terms kamikaze and hari kari), youd know that we saved countless lives by ending the war quickly and without invading Japan. Believe me, I dont burn books…liberals are the ones with “speech codes” and “fairness doctrines” intended to silence information they dont agree with. Get an education.

5. We aided the muhajadeen in Afghanistan because the soviet union was invading, idiot. The soviets were our enemy and were invading countries left and right, but naturally you oppose any efforts to stop soviet expansion since youre obviously a little commie yourself. The overthrow of the monarchy in Hawaii was an entirely local matter. Hawaiians stripped the king of his power, created a constitutional moarchy, and sfter he died and his sister became queen she tried to restore power to the monarchy which was opposed by even her own cabinet. she was overthrown by hawaiian subjects, and the US military only showed up to protect americans who feared for their safety. The US military remained neutral at all times.

The miami 5 were convicted by a jury of espionage and conspiracy to commit murder. their conviction has been upheld by the full panel of the 11th circuit court of appeals.

Your bumper-sticker brain is overflowing with factually incorrect propaganda. Try actually challenging the propaganda you read before swallowing it for a change.

6. We didnt invade Iraq idiot, Saddam hussein invaded kuwaiit. We only got involved to protect our ally from an aggressive invasion. Sadddam lost the war he started and only remained in power because he agreed to the cease fire conditions. We had every right to depose him then if we wanted to. And Im sorry, when you lose a war you started you dont have the right to go around shooting at the people who defeated you. Your ignorance is unbelievable.

7. And its laughable that you are a liberal concerned about freedom of expression. Republicans have never done anything to limit expression (other than the few republicans who signed on to the McCain Feingold act that was overwhelmingly supported by liberals) Liberals have been doing nothing BUT expressing themselves on every TV station, every paper, magazine and on every street in america for the past 6 years, all the while complaining ON THE AIR that their free speech was being curtailed because some Republicans exercized their freedoms by refusing to buy albums of people who offended them and calling you ignorant, uninformed, anti-American idiots. Which is simply the truth.

The only people that try to outlaw views they dont agree with are liberals, who are currently trying to impose a “fairness doctrine” in order to silence talk radio, but which they arent trying to impose on any other medium other than talk radio, that have outlawed certain speech on college campuses and called them “speech codes” and who are so appoplectic that there exists one TV news outlet that doesnt tow the liberal party line that they are currently engaged in a campain to bully advertisers into not advertising with them in an effort to silence them. Hugo Chaves, socialist liberal hero, has seized control of the venezuelan media.

Its liberals like you who favor big powerful centralized government, and governement control of industry that people need to fear, as they have throughout history. Communism, fascism, naziism, socialism, were all the result of people like you who want to give the government more power over peoples lives, not conservatives who want the government to have less control over peoples lives.

Youre such an ignorant tool. Thank you for proving everything I said in my original post.

Comment by American Elephant

Again congratulations! You have come up with some plausable pretexts for getting the USA into the ongoing, perverse fiasco in Iraq.

Your rambling discourse might be persuasive to diehard Bush supporters . Save it for them.

GW Bush was a tool for the Neoconservatives – Nothing more. Since 2001, he has worked hard to project the image of President but has never had the intellectual curiosity , energy or ambition to deal with the matters which concern the Presidency.

The members of the Project For a New American Century had their agenda prepared and published before they propped up an uninformed, inexperienced, failed businessman named George W. Bush as their poster candidate.

He had great appeal among the good ole boys and the bible thumpers who were not very likely to vote for the scowling man behind the curtain, Dick Cheney.

George W. Bush had not been sitting around for the previous 10 years thinking about foreign policy. Rather, he was being coached on foreign policy by handlers who had to teach him that Africa was a continent and not a country.

The White house was run by a Neoconservative cabal headed by Cheney and Rumsfeld, not GW Bush.

It is well established that the invasion of Iraq was at the top of the agenda for the Bush administration from the first day when the PNAC plan came off the shelf and Bush spoke not of why to invade Iraq but when to invade Iraqat the very first cabinet meeting.

Even Alan Greenspan has said that the reason for the Iraq invasion was oil.

I do dissgree with Hattersworkshop that the USA was wrong to use nuclear weapons against Japan. it was the only thing that could jolt the suicidal Japanesse into reality before they caused their whole country to be destroyed.

The motives of the USA have been honorable in both world wars and Korea. It was imperialistic in the Indian wars, and Mexican and Spanish Americans Wars. In Vietnam , the domino theory made a lot of sense at first.

The Iraq invasion was the closest thing the USA has been to Naziism. The Neocons are admittedly kinder and gentler than the Nazis. GW Bush was their tool.

Comment by gasdocpol

LOL. Wow, you really dont see the irony in regurgitating one bumper-sticker after another in response to a post about liberals bumper sticker mentality. All of which are contradicted by the facts, which means it is you that lacks intellectual curiosity–completely uninterested in examining the facts to see if your preconcieved notions are correct.

Allow me to enlighten you:

bumper sticker #1 “GW Bush was a tool for the Neoconservatives”

Sorry, Bush chose his cabinet, not the other way around.

bumper sticker #2 “has never had the intellectual curiosity , energy or ambition to deal with the matters which concern the Presidency”

Interesting. Even if that were true, what does that say about the very best the Democrat party had to offer in Al Gore and John Kerry, both of whom President Bush outperformed both academically and electorally?

Bumper sticker #3: “the Project For a New American Century ”

LOL. PNAC is a think-tank headed by Bill Kristol, a journailst and editor. They believe, that the US was an overwhelming force for good in the last century and believe its in the US best interests to remain strong. No one from PNAC works for the bush administration, but I certainly wouldnt mind if they did. Only among the America-hating left is it a controversial idea that America is a force for good or that America should remain strong.

“He had great appeal among the good ole boys and the bible thumpers who were not very likely to vote for the scowling man behind the curtain, Dick Cheney.”

Not really a bumper sticker other than the ignorant and bigoted terms “good ole boys” and “Bible thumpers”. But entirely ignorant. Conservatives have great respect for Dick CHeney, and had be been an available choice would have voted for him over George Bush in a heartbeat. Both Dick Cheney and president Bush are very good men who have more honesty and integrity in their respective little fingers than in all of the Democrat leadership combined. Youre just too intellectually lazy to challenge any of the bumper sticker claims that have been spoon fed to you. How about that pic of him sneering that the left uses over and over and over. Did you ever wonder why there were no other pictures of him? Such blatant propaganda, but you swallow it all hook line and sinker. HALLIBURTON!!!! LOL. What a lemming.

bumper sticker #4: “George W. Bush had not been sitting around for the previous 10 years thinking about foreign policy”

Thats true, other than dealing with mexico on a daily basis during his two terms as governor of texas. Far more foreign policy experience than either Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter. And hes been doing nothing but cleaning up their messes ever since he got in office.

bumper sticker #5: “The White house was run by a Neoconservative cabal headed by Cheney and Rumsfeld, not GW Bush”

Interesting since he was the one to hire them and not the other way around. Also interesting since it is documented that Cheney and Rumsfeld disagreed with one another.

Bumper Sticker #6: “It is well established that the invasion of Iraq was at the top of the agenda ”

Actually its not well documented at all, because its not true. the only thing that has been documented is that they had a military contigency plan to deal with Iraq. As we have military contigency plans to deal with everything from Canada to a UFO invasion. but you were told that THEY HAVE A PLAN and naturally you didnt question it. bum-per-sti-cker!

bumper sticker #7: “Even Alan Greenspan has said that the reason for the Iraq invasion was oil”

Well, this isnt a bumper sticker just yet, but Im sure theyre busy printing it up right now. Yes, Greenspan did say that. So did Rosie O’Donnell. And since he was chairman of the federal reserve and had absolutely nothing to do with national defense policy, his opinion on the matter is as meaningful as rosie odonnells. Do try to take a remedial civics course one of these days.

Bumper sticker #8: “The Iraq invasion was the closest thing the USA has been to Naziism”

No, the democratic party is the closest thing the USA has to the national socialist party. Eeerily so.

there is no parallell between Iraq and nazis other than Saddam was a great admirer of Hitler (and stalin for tht matter). germany launched a war of aggression against innocent neighbors. We were finishing a war of aggression started by Saddam Hussein that never ended, by taking him out of power after he violated the terms of the cease fire every day for 11 years. Before 9/11 that was one thing, after 9/11 he either had to submit to the demands of the cease fire and of the world, or have the war he started finished by removing him from power. Leaving him in power was no longer a risk any responsible leader could allow to go on.
And to his credit, making removing Saddam Hussein the official policy of the United States was one of the most responsible things Bill Clinton ever did.

Too bad he lacked the character, integrity and courage to deal with the real matters that concern the presidency.

As I said in my original post, your beliefs are almost uniformly factually incorrect and you dont care to find out whether your beliefs are correct or not, because they sound good to you and confirm what you want to believe.

Crack a history book sometime. You’ll find most of Americas greatest presidents from Lincoln to Truman to Reagan and now Bush, just to name a few, were very unpopular at the time and had almost all the exact same charges leveled against them. It turns out people prefer leaders who dont really lead, like Bill Clinton. The ones who actually lead invariably piss off one side or the other. Its the nature of change.

Are you aware they even wanted to impeach George Washington?

Of course youre not, they havent put it on a bumper sticker.

Comment by American Elephant

Yes , the GOP has given us many great presidents starting with Lincoln. I voted for Nixon, Ford and Bush the Elder. I did not vote for Reagan (althought in retrospect I consider him to have been good) but neither did I vote for Carter.

The governorship of Texas is largely weak and ceremonial compared to other states.

Richard A. Clark was in GOP white Houses going back to Nixon. He was kept on by Clinton. Despite his urging, Rice kept him from briefing the NSC on Al Qaeda and demoted his office of counter-terrorism Czar to reporting to the deputy members of the NSC rather than the principals. He resigned from the Bush administreation. I urge you to read “Against all Enemies”. Both he and O’Neill give direct testimony that invasion of Iraq was a priority from day one. Wilkerson ,Powell’s chief of staff reveals that the White House was run by a Neoconservative cabal headed by Cheney and Rumsfeld.This is first hand tesimony by reliable witnesses and constitutes excellent documentation of what went on in the bush White House.

Yes Saddam was a bad guy. He was mostly Iraq’s problem and not worth the blood that has been spilt or money spent.

I deliberately read Bob Woodward’s first 2 books because I knew them to be favorable to Bush. I have tried to see both sides. If I thought the Bush policy were right I would be in support of that. I have voted for many Republicans. There is nothing tying me to the Democrats.

Comment by gasdocpol

Wow… You’re beyond the reach of reason, and I hope you keep your head in the sands long enough to stay safe from terrorists. And if that doesn’t work then make sure you have lots of duct tape and plastic wrap. According to the DHS that will help. Try it sometime.

but on another note:
So how do you feel about habeas corpus? Or lack their of for US citizens accused of being enemy combatants? Its hard to fight accusations like that when you can’t face your accusers.

Makes me wonder if King Bush will put his presidential scepter in his library.

But you’ll be happy to know Im voting republican in 2008:
Ron Paul all the way.

Comment by hattersworkshop

I’ve actually seen a lot of conservative-minded bumper stickers. Last week, I got cut off by a car that was covered in “Love it or leave it!” stickers.

Comment by Cody

Among other ones, that is. I should have clarified that it wasn’t just 50 of the same sticker.

Comment by Cody

No members of PNAC are in the GW Bush administration?

American Elephane said said

PNAC is a think-tank headed by Bill Kristol, a journailst and editor. They believe, that the US was an overwhelming force for good in the last century and believe its in the US best interests to remain strong. No one from PNAC works for the bush administration, but I certainly wouldnt mind if they did. Only among the America-hating left is it a controversial idea that America is a force for good or that America should remain strong.

The following is taken from the PNAC official web site.

Elliott Abrams Gary Bauer William J. Bennett Jeb Bush

Dick Cheney Eliot A. Cohen Midge Decter Paula Dobriansky Steve Forbes

Aaron Friedberg Francis Fukuyama Frank Gaffney Fred C. Ikle

Donald Kagan Zalmay Khalilzad I. Lewis Libby Norman Podhoretz

Dan Quayle Peter W. Rodman Stephen P. Rosen Henry S. Rowen

Donald Rumsfeld Vin Weber George Weigel Paul Wolfowitz

I am sure that Cheney, Rumsfeld , Wolfowitz, Libby and Boltonare names that are familiar to you.

Comment by gasdocpol

I’d just like to point out that the sweeping generalizations made by this blog, and its respondents, is a product of exactly the kind of “emotionalism” and “bumper sticker” mentality that it is attempting to devalue. Republicans engage in similar “narrative” combat, only their medium tends to be talk radio. (Compassionate Conservative, ring a bell?) Until individuals stop painting the other side, be it left or right, in broad strokes there will never be consensus in this country. The founding fathers, whether being misquoted or not, understood the contradictory nature of democratic government, and were contradictory themselves. I’d like to point out that a favorite conservative misquotation is one by Scot Alexander Tytler (not Tyler) about the cycle of Democracy, equating the left with people that would vote themselves into wealth and bankrupt the government.
I love my country, and I won’t engage in sweeping generalizations, or petty demonizations, with my compatriots. I would urge other citizens to do the same.

Comment by Jeremy

Gasdocpol,

I love that you dispute my comment about who is in PNAC, but don’t dispute my statement that only among the America-hating left is it a controversial idea that America is a force for good or that America should remain strong.

I’m glad we agree on that.

As far as your posting the founding members of PNAC, I was unaware that Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Libby were founding members of PNAC, I meant only that no one in the administration was currently a member, but as I also said, I think its great that they were members, and founding members at that, of a group that believes America should remain a super-power. I would hope everyone who works for any White House would agree! And I think it is extremely troubling, and dangerous, that so very many Democrats don’t. Indeed, I believe it is the reason that a majority of Americans, rightly, trust Republicans to defend the nation, and view the Democrat party as weak on defense, and have ever since the McGovern days, and which has only grown worse over time as McGovernites have come to dominate the party.

Comment by American Elephant

Jeremy,

You say you’d like to point out the “sweepiing generalizations” of this blog and its respondents, and then fail to point out any. And while I admit I sometimes generalize, that’s not a product of emotionalism as you charge, it is a rhetorical device of convenience, rather than saying “the majority of liberals” or “those in charge of the Democrat party” all the time, it is easier to just hold the entire group that is “liberals” accountable for the actions and prevailing attitudes of the majority and the leadership.

In no way is that comparable to emotionalism that dictates liberalism, nor is it comparable to the fundamental misunderstanding of what Franklin said and meant.

As to your claim that conservatives are misquoting “Scot Alexander Tytler”, the person to whom you refer is actually Lord Woodhouselee, Alexander Fraser Tytler, and there are two separate quotations that are attributed to him. The first is an explanation of why Democracy will always, in the end, fail:

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.”

the second, a supposedly quoting him on the cycle of civilization:

“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From Bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.”

Now, perhaps what you intend to point out is that Tytler never said or wrote these things. That may or may not be true, they have never been found in his works, but nevertheless, they are attributed to him. Whether or not the attribution is accurate is irrelevant, much the same way the even more famous quote, “One man with courage makes a majority.” is attributed to Andrew Jackson. There is no record of Jackson actually having said these words. But who said them is irrelevant. Like the quote attributed to Tytler, it is the meaning of the words that is the reason they have endured.

And while conservatives may occasionally get the exact wording wrong, they always convey the meaning accurately — that Democracy will soon fail when the majority start voting themselves largesse. It is an unsustainable form of governance.

In no way is this comparanle to the fundamental error liberals have made in their completely backwards interpretation of Franklin’s words. They claim Franklin said almost the exact opposite of what he actually said. And that, Jeremy, is a very important difference.

Comment by American Elephant

I found your blog when I googled “bumper sticker car”. Yesterday while driving thru Santa Fe, NM I saw a car completely covered with pro-Obama, anti-Bush, anti-war stickers. We call these people pissy, pissy liberals. The more stickers, the more pissed off they are. This guy must of been about ready to pop. This post though, summed up what I’ve thought all along about the bumper sticker mentaliy….thanks!! :)

Comment by East of Eden

Thank you, East. And thanks for coming by. We hope you’ll come back again!

Comment by American Elephant

[...] Santa Fe — or that is to say, the ‘bumper sticker mentality’ is pervasive here. American Elephants had some good thoughts on the “Liberal Bumper Sticker Mentality: “…this [...]

Pingback by Bumper sticker expressions | PoliticalDerby.com




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